Wanderlust in the Time of Quarantine

“Once a year, go someplace you’ve never been before,” Dalai Lama.

I’ve never wanted to travel so much in my life now that I can’t go anywhere.  I keep thinking of the amazing places I could visit, but I can’t even begin to make plans.  No one knows what the future holds—I’m staying put for the foreseen future.

If someone has never felt wanderlust, I would struggle to explain it.  Germans use the word “fernweh” meaning “farsickness” to describe the sensation of being nostalgic for a place you’ve never been before. And now that travel isn’t possible, this urge is incredibly frustrating.

I want the joy of creating a fresh packing list (yes, I’m a nerd about such things).  The fun of exploring a place, a town or city, with no map and the hope that I can navigate back to my hotel with only my phone or even just a paper map.  The excitement of discovering new—to me—foods, cultures, music, etc.  I love my state but there is so much more beyond this place and even this continent.  I’m always amazed by the age of culture in a different country.  In England or Germany, there are just castles and old ruins everywhere, to the point that it becomes boring to the locals.  Imagine thinking an ancient stone castle is dull!  Here in the Midwest, we only have the Corn Palace in Mitchell, SD.  It does not compare.

The world is so big and diverse and why would I not want to explore such a spectacular array of experiences.  My favorite memories are usually from traveling with someone.  Travel is best experienced with someone else.  You can travel alone, but I never have done it because I couldn’t share those memories with another person.

I will not travel until the world is safe again.  I’m not an idiot willing to risk my life or the lives of others.  When the time is right, I will joyfully book my tickets or jump into my car and go on an adventure.  In the meantime, stay safe and dream of distant lands.